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Br J Psychiatry. 2007 Apr;190:339-43.

Association between trauma exposure and delusional experiences in a large community-based sample.

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1
Kids in Mind Research, Mater Children's Hospital, South Brisbane and Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, Wacol, Queensland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Surveys have found that otherwise well individuals report delusional experiences. Previous studies have shown an association between psychotic symptoms and exposure to trauma.

AIMS:

To explore the association between trauma and delusional experiences in a community sample.

METHOD:

Respondents (n=10 641) were assessed for delusional experiences, exposure to various types of traumatic experiences and the presence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The endorsement of delusional items was examined in people exposed to traumatic events who did or did not have PTSD.

RESULTS:

Exposure to any traumatic event but without the development of PTSD was associated with increased endorsement of delusional experiences (relative risk 2.68, 95% CI 2.18-3.30) and there was a significant dose-response relationship between the number of types of traumatic events and endorsement of such experiences (chi(2) =26.74, d.f.=2, P<0.001). A diagnosis of PTSD further increased endorsement of delusional experiences (RR=9.24, 95% CI 6.95-12.27). The association between PTSD and delusional experiences remained significant after adjusting for factors associated with psychotic symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS:

Further investigation into the pathways between trauma, delusions and psychosis may provide insights into shared aetiological mechanisms underpinning these conditions.

PMID:
17401041
DOI:
10.1192/bjp.bp.106.026708
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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